3-Minute Santa Company Anime Film Clip Streamed

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Kickstater-funded film slated to open in Japan this Christmas

Kenji Itoso's KENJI STUDIO began streaming a three-minute film clip "Chapter of Departure" for his Kickstarter-funded Santa Company anime film on Tuesday. The clip includes English subtitles but does not feature a voice track.

Kenji Studio is also streaming a key-frame art video for the same animation sequence.

The film will star Yuuki Kaji as Bell, Ayumi Fujimura as Noel, Haruka Tomatsu as Mint, Takahiro Sakurai as Pedro and Rie Kugimiya as Thomas. Choucho will perform the film's theme song.

The film met its Kickstarter goal of US$50,000 in December.

The story revolves around Noel, a 12-year-old girl who despises Christmas. She has lived with her father ever since her parents divorced three years ago, but her father ends up busy at work every Christmas and she cannot play with her friends from school.

On a lonely Christmas Eve, Noel takes her usual apartment complex elevator ride to her home, but when the doors open, she finds herself lost in a humongous factory — owned by Santa Claus. Santa Claus has gone corporate as Santa Company with the motto "Fast, Reliable and Secret Delivery." The outfit takes orders and delivers top-notch presents to children in the utmost secrecy. Noel meets some new friends, and together, they take off in a sled to deliver presents.

Naohiro Fukushima (Eden of the East, Eureka 7: Astral Ocean) is writing the script, and artist Hidari (Fractale, Natsuiro Kiseki) drew the original character design illustrations. Itoso's own Kenji Studio (Kotonakare Hero Gingerman) is animating the film. Itoso is serving as producer and executive director, while Yumi Kamakura (episode director for Eureka Seven, Blood+, Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet) is serving as director. Hiroka Harada (Romeo × Juliet, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal) is adapting Hidari's character designs for animation.

The 30-minute film is scheduled to be completed by this Christmas. Kenji Studio plans to host a special screening of the film for families in Fukushima who were affected by the March 2011 tsunami and earthquake disaster. The studio also plans to screen the film at film festivals worldwide, and to host screenings for children using projection-mapping. Additionally, the studio plans to create a curriculum to teach others how to make animation by using the production materials for Santa Company (Itoso is a university professor who researches film techniques).

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